i have often referred to avoidant personality a compulsion because the behavior is so ingrained. truly, no one in his life would have suspected his fear of rejection and humiliation was running the show to the extent that it was. let me provide a few examples so you can see the overlap in action; they elucidate how people with avoidant personality disorder function on a spectrum of emotional and social intelligence. because he was so good at detaching, he was able to construct an avoidant domain so comfortable that he was unaware any feelings of social anxiety or avoidant pathology existed. on the day of the meeting, he sends a brief e-mail saying an emergency has come up and he needs to postpone. at what point is the decision made to ignore something and then detach from it in such a way that avoidance is tolerable? but the vulnerable narcissistic overlay is that he cannot endure the feelings of self-judgment for overbooking, for failing to be perfect in his own eyes. the compulsion to escape what to the avoidant personality is humiliation but to others is just part of life is looming.
but of course i am somewhere—with the phone in my pocket, perhaps at the computer, but unconscious to my obligations, behaving like i’ve forgotten everything i’d agreed to do. once i get to a certain level of detachment, the uncomfortable feelings are replaced by a “me first” feeling, and the worry is all but imperceptible. i set it aside and i’m on to the next thing—usually whatever’s new or whatever requires face time with someone else. i’m a consultant and work from home so there is plenty of opportunity for those things; when i worked in an office, i zoned out in other ways but to this day i cannot remember what i was doing. the second thing is that i get to dominate others and avoid being dominated: feels a little bit like a little kid with crossed arms yelling, “you’re not the boss of me!” i’m excellent in my field. it’s a common business adage to say “underpromise and overdeliver.” i do the opposite. when at last i listen to the voicemail, heart pounding, i am relieved beyond measure that it was just a hello call. a few sentences get me back on track: “do it now” is one of those.
but i am going to go against the tide on this one and suggest that most people with dismissing attachment styles are not narcissists. some of the studies that were cited in blogs did not actually find a relationship between dismissing attachment and narcissism at all. a correlation (relationship) between two things (like dismissing attachment and narcissism) just means that as scores on one go up, scores on the other go up too. another pattern that promotes dismissing attachment is the “helicopter” parent who overreacts to any of the child’s emotions: “oh my god, a kid told you today they didn’t like you?!
so, they talk superficially about what they are doing in the world… which is mostly achievement-oriented stuff… and they don’t show that much interest in what is going on with you or your problems. in other words, there are multiple patterns of emotional and interpersonal processes that can lead someone to manifest a narcissistic personality. exploring the associations between narcissism, intentions towards infidelity, and relationship satisfaction: attachment styles as a moderator. there are many temptations to organize our life around the experience of earlier trauma.
avoidant personality disorder and narcissistic both covert narcissists and people with a dismissive avoidant (da) attachment style have similarities and differences. this videos cover what avoidant personality disorder is a cluster c personality d, dismissive avoidant abuse, dismissive avoidant abuse, avoidant personality disorder, avoidant attachment disorder and narcissism, covert narcissist.
this may seem like a paradox: avoidant personality disorder is characterized by a fear of not being good enough whereas narcissistic personality prompts an a narcissist loves attention, whereas the avoidant doesn’t like attention. an avoidant prides himself on being self sufficient and may not want help from one started off by saying, “narcissists have an ‘avoidant’ attachment style…” but here is what i found when i dug into the research., vulnerable narcissism avoidant personality disorder, vulnerable narcissist, intimacy avoidance narcissism, dismissive avoidant discard.
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